It’s spooky season, y’all!
Halloween is one of my favorites, though my enthusiasm for it changed over the pandemic. I used to love dressing up and going to parties to walking around and looking at spooky decorations. Now that the parties are back, I’m like ehhhh… probably mostly because nothing fits and I’m not looking forward to putting anything on my body that draws attention but… whatever. I’ll figure something out and endure and also probably enjoy myself in spite of that.
Normally, I love this time of year for many other reasons that aren’t quite hitting the same. It’s usually a break after a long race (this year, my whole summer was the break after a long race). Or some years, this month finally gets cooler (nope) and I can go for happy fun runs (also nope) and enjoy bikes outside (the two we’ve gone on, allergies have just about slain Joel so we’ve stayed inside). It’s just one of those times where the universe is reminding me that 2022 is just different than other years, and it’s okay.
What October has been about is building habits, which the process of is also something I nerdily love in my psychology brain. It’s fascinating how when you repeatedly do something, it goes from using active to passive memory in a few weeks. I’m finally at the point where the first week’s habits are almost unconscious now, it is just what I do, and the rest are getting there.
I have successfully tracked my food every day since I set the goal. Most days, I’m tracking as I eat and using it to monitor my calories, not just for posterity after the fact, so that’s good.
- Week 1: 1550/day average
- Week 2: 1430/day average
- Week 3: 1540/day average
Low days are around 1200-1400, high days are around 1600-1800. This is okay for now, especially now that I’m getting back to doing some training, though I’d like to be skewing more towards that week 2 range. Oddly enough, I had fewer drinks that week than normal, so perhaps that’s the difference I need. (grrr, I love my happy brown relax-y juice aka whiskey)
One thing I’ve done to put this on easy mode is I’m now getting 6 meals a week from Snap Kitchen, and 4 meals a week from Factor starting next week. This leaves me 4 lunches/dinners per week to improvise, which is fine for a break. We can grill or cook something, get the occasional meal out, or just throw something mildly trashy but low enough calorie in the air fryer to satisfy the “bar food” craving (sometimes 2 eggrolls are a satisfying dinner if I just want some junk food). I was weirdly scared about getting on a meal service (I fear commitment?) and now I’m on two. I’ll let you know how this goes!
Some training has started. Don’t get too excited, it’s not much.
However, this is a good start, and I’m happy that I’m establishing consistency over the last two weeks. Please pretend there is an elliptical on Monday that happened, but I forgot to record, a walk on Wednesday that recorded but doesn’t show up on the calendar, and a bike or walk today (that I haven’t done yet but I’m intending, I swear!). I truly intend to get to the pool; I just haven’t been able to work it into my habits yet. I cannot WAIT to be able to run again, but I also know that I have work to do before I can run like I used to. For now, cycling, weights, and walking is better than the alternative, which is nothing, and burning an extra 1500 calories/week isn’t nothing.
And, after two months, I bit the bullet and put my feet on the scale. It wasn’t as bad as I feared, but it also wasn’t great.
I didn’t have to get on the scale to realize that I gained weight in Europe (and after), so it was no surprise when it was confirmed. I’m guessing it was worse a few weeks ago, so I’m glad I waited for the inflammation to settle and some controlled eating to stabilize things. With one week of data, I don’t know what the correlation of calories in vs out yet is – if my weight is the same in 2 weeks, I’ll know I need to up the workouts, reduce the calories, or a little bit of both.
Outside of the pursuit of being slightly less unfluffy – or perhaps supporting it – I’m meditating about 5-6 mornings/week. While I can’t always get my brain to stop thinking, or conversely, I fall asleep during it, it’s highly superior to grabbing my phone with one eye open in bed. I’ve found that sometimes Saturday/Sunday morning I’ll just feel super awake and excited to get up if I’ve slept well and skip it, but it’s the first thing I do every weekday morning at least.
My good recovery habits have been fair to middling. I’m back in the massage boots almost every day – when I work from home, I try to do my first hour in them or end my day with them while I watch TV, read, or edit photos (or write blog posts, just like I am now!). The good news is that in the last 3 weeks they’ve gone from stupid painful to feeling good. I am icing almost daily… but probably not all the right spots. I’m sitting on the ice pack (while using the massage boots) to ice my piriformis but not icing my calves/hammies. I really don’t have an excuse, as all I need to do is sit on the couch with ice on them. I’m stretching maybe 1-2x week and same with rolling, which is better than not doing it but I could be doing better for myself doing it on the daily. I’ve asked Joel to remind me when he takes his nightly medication and that will be my cue to go do at least one of those per evening if I haven’t already.
So, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new day… and I’ll just be continuing on. Next week’s goals will be to just build consistency and be a little bit better at the things I’m doing now.
- Swim once for cardio next week. Figure out where this fits in my schedule and make it happen. Keep the rest of the training momentum and fill out my cardio 5x week with cycling and walking. Stick with weights 2-3x week, seeing the squat witch 1-2x week.
- Work the average calories down to around 1400/day from 1550/day without hurting people.
- Recover better. Stretch AND roll (not OR) 3x week minimum. Ice my legs, not just my back.
I feel a temporary grasp on these good habits, and now I just need to continue transferring them from conscious efforts to things that are simply part of my day.